h1

Cricket’s Renaissance Man: Kumar Sangakkara

November 26, 2009

Captain. Keeper. Fielder. Batsman. Sangakkara does it all. He’s been one of my favorite players in the world since he emerged as one of the few wicketkeepers whose also consistent at bat, and the only wicketkeeper/batsman effective anywhere from opener, to 6th man down.

He’s just a sheer joy to watch. Sangakkara can make runs off any ball bowled his way, because his strikes are consistently clean, and always middled. He’ll never play a ball swinging toward the off side, to the leg side. And that kind of foresight is valuable wisdom in cricket.

Day 3, second test match vs India, Sri Lanka’s down 0 for 1, attempting to chase the monstrous 642 Indian total. Sangakkara steps in. Once opener Paranavithana fell to Sreesanth’s off side out swinger to the left handed batsman who nicked it straight into Dhoni’s hands, I guarantee Sangakkara was thinking: “shoot. I gotta hold my wicket, and be a pillar so my team doesn’t feel pressure to make an astronomical run rate”. He’s thinking like Dravid right now. But the beauty of Sangakkara is, he thinks that without having as much experience as a batsman like Dravid or Gilchrist. Sangakkara’s maturity as a batsman, captain, and keeper lie in the mere fact that if the team requires ten runs an over, he’ll do it, if they need him to hold his wicket for 100 balls, he’ll do it: he does what it takes to win. He’s dependable, consistent and although he’s out early on today, it’s not his norm.

Sri Lanka’s down 216 for 8 with impressive bowling by Sreesanth, and India’s opening lineup unleashed a batting onslaught giving them tremendous pace early on.

Sehwag’s seemingly constant ODI mindset was a blessing and Gambhir played magnificent innings, collectively chalking up 297, which eased pressure on following batsman to play their regular game. The openers did their job, and in any match, be it ODI, 20Twenty or Test, that’s key. I suppose this is just the flip side of the first test match. Sri Lanka dominated leaving India with the option to draw if not face an innings defeat, and it looks like we may see Sri Lanka in that position today.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. I’ve gotta say, I’ve always loved watching him play. He is probably one of the most consistent batsmen I’ve seen. Time after time he delivers, and I was always amazed how he kept it up despite being the keeper.

    I think the captaincy has plagued his technique just a tad — but over time he will probably find a good middle ground. Sometimes I wonder though, you never really see a batsman stay the same once they become captain. So few examples are out there (Ponting is one) where a batsmen-turned-captain maintains his form.

    I think in the end you can either be an amazing captain or an amazing batsman, it’s almost impossible to be both (e.g. Ganguly was an amazing captain but his batting failed, Graeme Smith is still an exceptional batsman but his captaincy is mediocre at best).

    Like


  2. […] SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Kumar Sangakkara. Cricket’s Renaissance Man, Sangakkara’s one of the hottest bats this decade and still go…. While ponting looks about done, Sangakkara has only just begun. He’s tearing bowlers apart […]

    Like



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: